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Corporal W (Billy) Langley


Harrogate Herald - 20th January 1915

The following is a list of members of the Harrogate Cricket Club who have joined some branch of His Majesty's Forces, as referred to by Mr Idle at the last meeting of the Yorkshire Cricket Council : 

A A Alderson, R Alderson, G Alderson, Lieutenant H E Appleyard, Lieutenant O J Addyman, A W Adams, H Blackburn, J Butterworth, J Brassington, B E Brown, H Bush, P J Barker, Dr A L Bastable, Captain A B Boyd-Carpenter, O Bastable, C Chippindale, W Crust, D H Drake, G L Dimmock, Lieutenant W H Brennan, A G Fraser, E H Gomersall, T W Green, A Gofton, W F Gibson, S Holmes, J Houfe, Rev D Hoole, S A Harrison, W Langley, Lieutenant W E L Lapham, Major W F Leader, G H Lamb, C A Mantle, Hon. R Captain Moreton, K L Newstead, Lieutenant R G Raworth, H W Rymer, S Royce, T W L Strother, J M Strother, Captain F H Shaw, G B Simpson, Alex Stott, A A Thomson, G E Topham, W Voakes, Hon E Major Wood, Military Police, K Wesley-Smith

Total of 51, of which 8 are from the 1st XI


Harrogate Herald - 8th December 1915

W H Breare letter

Sapper W E Greetham, Royal Fusiliers, Northern Signal Company, went out in April. August 16th he was attacked by enteric fever and sent to Malta the next day, where he remained for six weeks. He came to Cardiff Hospital for a week, and then went to Swansea Hospital for seven weeks. He has now arrived home, convalescent, and is just about right. In his company, at the Dardanelles, were Jack Pattison, Bob Johnson, Arthur Brogden, of the Post Office telephone department. There were also Billy Langley, Norman Pollard, and Jack Colbert; they were all right when he last saw them. Harry Brain saw Greetham's picture in the Herald, and so learnt where he was and went to see him. Greetham was not in when Brain "called" (reads like home civilities, doesn't it?), but left his address, and Greetham made a point of meeting him later.


Harrogate Herald - 15th December 1915

Private L Heap, writing from Ryme Red Cross Hospital, Weymouth, Dorset, says : Just a few lines to thank you for the Herald received at the above address, also for the one received in Flanders. I always looked with interest for the Herald while in the trenches to see the doings of the Harrogate boys in different parts of the world, doing their bit for King and country. I never missed reading "Billy" Langley's, Lieutenant Wilkinson's, and your own letters to the boys on service, which were very interesting indeed. Although I myself am in the 6th West Yorks, I often see numerous pals in the 5th; in fact, our Battalion often relieved them in the trenches, being in the same Brigade. I have had a letter from my pal in the 6th. He says they are waist high in water in places. When I came away we were over the knees, and after the rain of late I can quite believe what he says. But they stick it very well, knowing it's just the same for the Huns, at the other side of "No man's land". I have been in hospital now three weeks in England, and one in France, and I am hoping to home for Christmas. I was very sorry to hear of Charlie White being killed just after returning from home. I saw him a few times on the Yser Canal before he was home on leave, and he said he was very lucky to have got so far through without a scratch. We have had a lot of rain down here lately, but am pleased to say the weather has taken a change for the better. I don't think I have anything further to say, so will close. Again thanking you for the Herald, and wishing you every success in the future.


Harrogate Herald - 21st November 1917

Pioneer A C Beer writes : 

I will introduce myself first. I am the eldest son of the Beers who lived in Parliament Terrace in the yard adjoining your works. My father was horseman to the late Thomas Thwaites a few years ago. My brother Andrew belongs to that section of 6th Dragoons known as one of the seven of which you have written more than once in your paper. His photo has appeared on your page, also my youngest brother Willie in the Life Guards, who was wounded recently in the arm and is about to get his discharge. I was a foreman employed by the Harrogate Corporation Highways Department under Mr Thorpe. I laid the tarmacadam along Montpelier Street if you remember, some little time ago. I joined that famous troop of Lord Derby's, and being just 40 years of age got dumped here right up against Billy Langley in Egypt. I saw that he has mentioned me in a letter to your paper, also another "towny" - Wilson - who was in the employ of Messrs Charles Walker & Son as a joiner, etc. I was very sorry to lose them. They have both moved further up from me, so now there is no one but myself to represent Sulphurland as far as I know. I am very sorry to see so many Harrogate lads who have lost their lives in this war, and I hope that before many more months it will come to an end, and let everybody get back to their homes. I see that your son, Lieutenant Lynn, had a brush with them in France, but had got all right again. I have just come across a man called Jack Smithson, in the MT section. He has written several letters to the local paper. He is in the best of health and looking very well indeed. Before joining up he drove a private car for Barker's, late of Barcroft House, Wetherby Lane. He wishes to be remembered to you and his friends. He has been out here for about two years.

PS - I think the Royal Spa Concert Room is the best suggestion as regards the Kursaal, as it was know 30 years ago.


Harrogate Herald - 16th January 1918

Second Corporal W Langley, writing from Palestine, says : 

Just a few lines to wish you and my Harrogate friends the compliments of the season. Glad to say I am keeping OK through these strenuous times. You will already have heard of our great successes during the last two months, during which time I must have travelled over 200 miles in Palestine, and I can assure you I have seen the sights. I arrived at this city on the same day as it was evacuated by the Turks, and it gladdened our hearts to hear the inhabitants cheer us as we motored in, and the male population raise their hats and welcome us with "Good afternoon". After over two years of Arabic - a little English was appreciated. As we got further into the town and saw canteen men, women and children selling bread, they must have thought the British Army was starving, but being characteristic of the Jews they were giving nothing away and charged 1s for a small cake of brown bread. A small box of matches cost 2d, and 1 was asked for a bottle of beer, but found no buyer. The weather here is much cooler than in Egypt, and at night we often have a little frost, but during the day the sun shines brilliantly and it is very pleasant, we are over 2,590ft. above the sea level, therefore get plenty of fresh air.


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